The body knows things a long time before the mind catches up to them. I was wondering what my body knew that I didn’t. Sue Monk Kidd
I’m wondering what my body knew that I didn’t as I wrote my dissertation titled One Hears Only With the Heart: A Map to Living Open Heartedly. I can tell you, that I began writing moving out anger at my ex husband who believed my body wasn’t enough. I was “too fat, no longer a runner, not young enough, no longer pretty” in his world view.
I can tell you that I became a bitch! A weeping, angry bitch.
I knew that I could, but didn’t want to shut down. I wanted to live with an open heart.
This past May I learned that my heart, the engine of my blood, “failed.” As a friend wrote, “from the time we are in school as children we are afraid of the word failure” and that has certainly been a life-long fear for me.
One of “my” nurses told me she prefers using the term cardiomyopathy – for that is what I’m dealing with. The left ventricle that pumps blood throughout the body has enlarged trying to compensate for, from an early age, my dancing alone, too fast to my own fibrillating (A fib) beat. Wow, I think about a lifetime of telling fibs mostly to myself.
In her book, How the Light Gets In, Pat Schneider quotes May Swenson* ‘when my body falls, I am utterly exposed; exposed to myself. Exposed as breakable, as finite.’ I am reminded of how important after all is the body, the dwelling place, the home of spirit.
From the moment I was threshing at that silver gate I began holding the ticket to a world of no more pretending that I can go it alone. Welcome to my enlarged heart.
GROUND ~ David Whyte
what lies beneath our feet. It is the place where we already stand; a state of recognition, the place or the circumstances to which we belong whether we wish to or not. It is what holds and supports us, but also what we do not want to be true; it is what challenges us, physically or psychologically, irrespective of our abstract needs. It is the living, underlying foundation that tells us… what we are, where we are, what season we are in and what, no matter what we wish in the abstract, is about to happen in our body, in the world or in the conversation between the two. To come to ground is to find a home in circumstances and to face the truth, no matter how difficult that truth may be; to come to ground is to begin the courageous conversation, to step into difficulty and by taking that first step, begin the movement through all difficulties at the same time, to find the support and foundation that has been beneath our feet all along, a place to step onto, a place on which to stand and a place from which to step.
GROUND taken from the upcoming reader’s circle essay series. ©2013: David Whyte.
*from Question, poem by May Swenson, http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/168